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Community policing or neighbourhood policing is a policing strategy and philosophy based on the notion that community interaction and support can help control crime, with community members helping to identify suspects, detain vandals and bring problems to the attention of police.
If you are interested in the topic of community policing you should find Wesley G. Skogan's book "Community Policing, Chicago Style" about this new idea in Law enforcement. It is a good way to begin understanding what community policing is. however, there are many forms of community policing and as the title of this book states it is only one style of community policing. With community policing, the police and police department are involved as members of the community. Cities and counties that subscribe to this philosophy tend to do much more community work than traditional police departments. This often includes having more police officers who "walk the beat" as opposed to driving around in police cars. The basic idea is to create bonds of trust and reliance between police and the public.
This approach requires officers to be open minded, unbiased, and sensitive to the concerns and problems of others; also known as the new policing paradigm. Even if officers do not agree with a complainant's viewpoint, they should try to listen and understand the problem. Police should display empathy and compassion with sincerity, not in a rehearsed way. Police must also develop skill in planning, problem solving, organization, interpersonal communications, and perhaps most importantly critical thinking.
At the heart of the police transition to community policing is the question: "How do the police identify and deliver high-quality services to the community?" In the past, the delivery of police services was accomplished in a reactive and unscientific manner, with little attention given to proactive policing. Today, the efficient delivery of police services requires a systematic process to 1) assess the needs of the public and 2) translate those needs into police services and programs that can be efficiently and effectively delivered to the community. In this way, police are becoming more sensitive to the needs of the community. They also have a better understanding of how their work affects the social environment.
The undeniable credit for perfection of Herman Goldstein's philosophy goes to Michael Stuart Scott, who is the director of the International Problem-Oriented Policing programs that travels across. Michael Scott holds a JD from Harvard and a BA from UW-Madison, where he teaches at the law school to this very day. Others also credit Sir Robert Peel, who came up with 9 principles of policing that form the basis of modern policing.